Time to Stop Being a People-Pleaser

By Lucia V. Smith

There’s a point in life when you just stop caring. I’m not really sure when that point is or how you get there, but once you do life seems to go so much smoother.

For a long time, we as humans are hooked on society’s viewings of us. If we don’t fit into the social norm, if someone doesn’t like us, then we freak out, in fear of being outcast or rejected by our peers. I think that ideal was embedded in me in middle school. Not only is it important to fit in but it’s important that everybody likes you. We go around, becoming people pleasers, just going through the motions to make sure we stay off people’s shit list and harbor good feelings from all.

Well, I saw screw it. To heck with caring what other people think.

I no longer need to be society’s puppet.

I have seen in my lifetime that we are all driven by the social need to be accepted. It’s a part of humanity and it’s how we forge friendships and survive in this world. But it’s also how we drive our own true selves into hiding, under a rug mat, which everyone walks on. By always feeling the need to please others, we lose ourselves. We simply bounce from right to left, being confidants to everyone, not really expressing our true feelings or calling out people when they’re wrong. Simply out of the fear of pissing someone off. We become empty puppets, with no bearing, or no real ground. And when you begin to lose sense of who you really are, you become less confident in your own voice, your own beliefs, and lose yourself in the midst of everything.

Why is it that if one of our girlfriends can’t stand this chick, you can’t be friends with her either? You’re a traitor, even when you’ve known the girl for four years? Or all of a sudden we put our foots in our mouths and turn our backs on people that we care about just so that the “cool” chicks can like us? We become these monsters, we become those women we love to loathe on reality tv shows. At the end of the day we become just like them, trying to fit into some “inner circle”, trying to make everyone happy, while sacrificing our own dignity, self-worth, and even values at times.

Phew. Wipes forehead. Trying to be everyone’s friend is just too much damn work.

And I have enough going on in my life to be a people pleaser.

You can’t really help anyone until you help yourself. I’m not saying it’s time to be selfish, but you have to know who you are and choose your friends wisely. Some people confuse the idea of the social butterfly for a pushover, which is what you become when you want to make sure every number in your contacts  are for people who love you. Who needs to be liked by everyone? Everyone needs some frenimies in their life. Makes for better dinner conversation.

Here’s to letting go of the need to be on everyone’s good list. Here’s to finding out and valuing who we truly are as human beings. Here’s to not giving a damn about what people think.


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